Where to stay in Venice area by area

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 26.05.2023

Venice, with its labyrinth of canals and rich history, is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and offers a plethora of accommodation options to suit every traveller's preferences. Whether you're seeking local charm, artistic inspiration, luxury indulgence, or a tranquil retreat, the city has something for everyone. In this article, we will dive into where stay in Venice.

The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Italy, your essential guide for visiting Italy.

San Marco: where to stay in Venice for luxury

If you desire a stay in the lap of luxury, San Marco is the quintessential neighbourhood to consider. Home to the iconic St. Mark's Square, the magnificent St. Mark's Basilica, and the grand Doge's Palace, San Marco is the beating heart of Venice.

This neighbourhood offers exclusive shopping opportunities, high-end restaurants, and breathtaking views of the canals. Indulge in luxurious accommodations, including five-star hotels boasting stunning views of the city's landmarks. However, be prepared for higher price tags, as San Marco is a premium district.

    Where to stay in San Marco:

  • Best for five-star views: Five-star Baglioni Hotel Luna sits on Canal Grande and offers spectacular views from its terraces.
  • Best for a super lux experience: For complete indulgence book the Gritti Palace. This luxury hotel was once home to the Doge, and its mix of vintage opulence and hi-tech facilities is world-famous.

San Marco is where to stay in Venice for extreme luxury © Claudio Stocco/Shutterstock

Dorsoduro: the area for art lovers

Dorsoduro is a neighbourhood where to stay in Venice for its artistic heritage and vibrant cultural scene. Home to the prestigious Accademia Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, this area attracts art enthusiasts from around the world. Dorsoduro also houses Ca' Foscari University, lending a lively and youthful energy to the neighbourhood. Explore the charming streets lined with art galleries, bookshops, and cafes.

Additionally, don't miss the picturesque Campo Santa Margherita, a popular gathering spot for locals. Accommodation options in Dorsoduro include boutique hotels and guesthouses that offer a blend of artistic flair and modern comforts.

    Where to stay in Dorsoduro:

  • Best for impeccable cool: Find Charming House DD724 beside the Guggenheim. It's cool, modernist design is a refreshing change in nostalgic Venice.
  • Best for atmospheric rooms: Choose upmarket Ca Maria Adele where each of the themed rooms is designed for atmosphere.

Canalside restaurants in Dorsoduro, Venice Italy © Shutterstock

San Polo and Santa Croce: best neighbourhoods in Venice for local life

If you're looking for where to stay in Venice for the local Venetian lifestyle, San Polo and Santa Croce are ideal neighbourhoods to consider. These areas exude an authentic charm with their narrow alleys, small squares, and bustling markets.

Here, you'll find a vibrant local atmosphere and a wide array of trattorias, osterias, and bacari (wine bars) where you can savour delicious Venetian cuisine. Exploring this area is one of the best things to do in Italy.

Additionally, the Rialto Bridge, the lively Rialto Market, and the historic San Giacomo di Rialto Church are must-visit attractions in this neighbourhood. Accommodation options range from cosy guesthouses to charming boutique hotels, providing a genuine Venetian experience.

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    Where to stay in San Polo and Santa Croce:

  • Best for traditional meets modern: Book GKK Exclusive Private suite Venezia. With big rooms in a great location, it's one of the city's best budget stays.
  • Best for a gothic getaway: Fine little Ca’ San Giorgio B&B has echoes of a gothic palazzo its charming timber beams and brick walls.

Round the Rialto Market is where to stay in Venice like a local © Shutterstock

Cannaregio: the quarter for ancient history

The Cannaregio district may not have major attractions, but it's where to stay in Venice for the atmosphere. Cannaregio is a less crowded residential neighbourhood that offers a more local and authentic experience. It is known for its picturesque canals, historic synagogues, and the lively Jewish Ghetto.

Strolling through its narrow streets, you'll find a variety of cosy trattorias, local markets, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Accommodation choices in Cannaregio cater to different budgets, including affordable guesthouses and boutique hotels.

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    Where to stay in Cannaregio:

  • Best for a monastic retreat: Once a Carmelite monastery, airy Hotel Abbazia is still a very restful choice.
  • Best stay in a restored palace: Palazzo Abadessa has a pretty garden and huge rooms furnished with authentic antiques.

Venice Italy © Luca Giubertoni/Shutterstock

Central Castello: where to stay in Venice for museums

Located east of San Marco, Castello is the largest and most traditional neighbourhood in Venice. This area offers a quieter atmosphere with its winding streets, small squares, and local shops.

Castello is home to the impressive Arsenale and the Biennale Gardens, where the prestigious Venice Biennale art exhibition takes place. You'll find a mix of accommodation options in Castello, ranging from budget-friendly pensions to elegant boutique hotels.

Castello sits around vast Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the one-time pantheon of the doges. You'll find museums in the south of the district. And it's the area for the Querini-Stampalia collection, San Giorgio dei Greci and Museo Diocesano.

    Where to stay in Castello:

  • Best for summer evenings: Ca' Dei Dogi has attractive outdoor terraces and it's close to Central Castello museums.
  • Best for an indulgent escape: Hotel Danieli is a grand and indulgent gothic palazzo, highly recommended for sybarites.

Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Eastern Castello ©Natalia Volkova/Shutterstock

Eastern Castello: for an off-the-beaten-track retreat

If you are looking for where to stay in Venice for a peaceful retreat away from the crowds, consider exploring the eastern part of Castello. This area offers a quieter ambience and a chance to experience a more local way of life. Stroll along the fondamenta (waterfront promenades), visit the local shops, and enjoy serene views of the lagoon.

Eastern Castello provides a respite from the tourist hustle, allowing you to unwind while still being within proximity to Venice's attractions. Accommodation options include guesthouses and small hotels that offer a cozy and intimate setting.

San Francesco della Vigna is here and it's home to Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni. Plus, the waterfront panoramas are stunning.

    Where to stay in Eastern Castello:

  • For travellers on a budget: A former 14th-century palazzo, historic La Residenza sits close to the waterfront.
  • Best for independence: For cool and airy apartments as well as a pretty, shared garden, choose Palazzo Soderini.
Magnificent view of the entrance towers to the arsenal of Venice - Castello, Italy © Shutterstock

Magnificent view of the entrance towers to the arsenal of Venice - Castello, Italy © Shutterstock

Take a trip planned by local travel experts

Our local experts can plan wonderful trips for you in Italy. Simply get in touch when you would like to travel. We will then create a personalized itinerary, which you can amend until you are totally happy with every detail of the booking. All of our planned itineraries can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

Planning your dream trip to Venice? Check out the Rough Guide to Italy.

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Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 26.05.2023

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